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India Since Independence by V. Krishna Ananth

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VI

The End of the Nehru Era, the Shastri Interlude and the Rise of Indira

The Indian National Congress had never been a homogeneous or closely knit political unit…. certain new trends and forces emerged in the party soon after the death of Nehru. The most important of these trends… dominated by Morarji Desai and Indira Gandhi… a group of state party bosses who… formed a formidable group… were in a position to influence the party politics.

—M. M. Rehman, The Congress Crisis,

The decade after independence can be described as the Congress party’s period of glory. This was possible because the opposition to Jawaharlal Nehru and his party had not crystallised into a political force. There was, indeed, no alternative to the Congress.

The results ...

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